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Supplementation in Pregnancy

Whether to take nutritional supplements or not during pregnancy has long been a heated debate. Logic tells us that to create and support a new life, both mother and father need extra nutrition to replace what is absent within even a most carefully constructed diet.

As a midwife stated:

"It’s wise to steer clear of chemicals because we don’t know what activity they have in the body apart from providing concentrated chemical supplements. Therefore most pregnant women are advised to avoid most supplements and to eat a ’balanced diet’ and then all will be well."

The statement does hold true as expectant mothers should be mindful that important nutrients necessary to their well being are almost absent from the soil today. The reality is that if necessary nutrients are not available through the diet (as they were 60 years ago), then there may very well be a need to consider supplementation.

Many people, however, are wary of supplementing at such a vulnerable time. The fact is that most ’natural vitamin supplements’ are NOT structures that are ever found in natural foods. A simple reading of the ingredients list on the label will reveal a list of chemicals, NOT food complexes as found in foods.

Food State Vitamins

The Jersey Foodstate Pregnancy formula nutrients have gone a long way towards bridging the gap here – enabling everyone to obtain supplemental nutrients in the same form as in food. As they are not isolated chemicals but Food State nutrients, these are complexed food structures (from plants) that the body will recognise as properly digestible foods and use them accordingly, so there is no worry about toxicity or side effects.

Preconception and Pregnancy: a brief note

Preconception is arguably the most important part of the process, as it is the time during which the mother and father-to-be prepare both their bodies and minds for the forthcoming pregnancy, so that they can be as healthy and ready as possible for the new life.

To give a mother the best chance of producing a healthy baby, both mother and father will need to prepare their bodies as far in advance as possible - ideally starting 6 months before the planned conception, but at least 3 months before. It is over this time span that both the sperm and ova complete their maturation process. Both are extremely vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies and toxins over this period.

Therefore, as well as improving nutritional intake, it is also important to reduce any toxic load in the body; this is best done in the first 3 months of preconception.

The second three months are a time for maintaining good health and building up the nutritional reserves in the body, in particular for the mother-to-be to be able to support the new life.

Preconception Overview

As a very basic and brief overview, some of the obvious recommendations would include:

  1. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol and reduce or eliminate caffeine intake.
  2. Increase intake of water (taken as water) to approximately 2-3 pints per day.
  3. Include less processed and more whole preferably organic foods in the diet. Particularly concentrate on fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables to build up antioxidant vitamin and mineral levels. To increase essential beneficial fatty acids try to increase the oily fish portion of the diet, however it is advisable to eliminate mackerel.
  4. Breathing exercises are important during birth; however adopting constructive positive breathing techniques at this time is most beneficial.
  5. Take sensible exercise. Good health does not come from merely ingesting the right ingredients you need to get your body to use those ingredients as well. Exercise is an excellent way to prepare your body for the exertion of pregnancy.


If either the contraceptive pill or the coil has been used as a contraceptive method, their potential negative effects need to be balanced before conception. Both these methods tend to raise copper levels in the female body and lower zinc levels. In addition, the pill tends to raise Vitamin A levels (undesirable) but lower Vitamin B and Vitamin C levels.

Heavy Metals and Beneficial Bacteria

As well as trying to make sure you take in all the helpful nutrients and lifestyle changes, there are also some things to avoid, particularly during pregnancy and preconception:

Toxic Heavy Metals

Besides the essential beneficial minerals such as zinc, magnesium and other nutrients detailed later, there are also undesirable minerals called heavy metals, to which our bodies are regularly exposed. The four primary heavy metals are: Mercury, Lead, Aluminium and Cadmium.

All of these are toxic to the body and have been linked to infertility problems, miscarriages, premature births, and underweight babies. Therefore it is important to try and avoid them and consume both foods and specific supplements that are known to reduce toxic metals.

Although dental treatment during pregnancy may be necessary, it is not advisable to have any amalgam fillings put in or removed during this time, as this will expose both you and your baby’s body to an increased level of toxic mercury, a major component of amalgam.

Aluminium enters the diet (and our body) via pots and pans, foil, tap water, salts and many antiperspirants. We breathe lead from car-polluted air, and absorb it from paints, tinned foods and tap water. Tobacco smoke contains cadmium and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream of both the active and passive smoker.
Fluoride has been shown to exhibit some detrimental aspects that can compromise a range of beneficial enzyme activity, and may be involved with other health concerns, too. Therefore it is best to avoid fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste particularly during this stage of life.

Removal of Toxins

As well as avoiding absorbing toxins into the body in the preconception phase, it is particularly useful to get as many toxins out of the body as possible. The following foods and nutrients are particularly helpful in removing toxins from the body which will improve health.

Helpful supplements (detailed later in this text):

  1. Vitamin C and Zinc are both helpful in reducing cadmium levels, which is particularly helpful for detoxifying a smoker’s body.
  2. Zinc, Calcium, Iron Vitamin E, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2 taken together with the Vitamin B Complex can help protect against lead toxicity.
  3. Selenium is particularly helpful at reducing mercury levels in the body
  4. Beta-carotene helps in general detoxification by helping to activate necessary enzymes.
  5. GTF Chromium and Manganese are also protective against heavy metal toxins.
  6. The essential fatty acids found within flaxseed (linseed), evening primrose and fish oils are very helpful in helping the body build healthy cells.


Below is a list of beneficial foods that help to decrease the absorption of toxins and remove them from the body. These specific foods are detailed later in the text covering the specific nutrients.

Beneficial Bacteria (probiotic) and the Immune System

Beneficial bacterial should comprise 90% of the digestive tract to properly enhance the immune system. 400 different species of beneficial bacteria are needed in the colon to process foods properly, manufacture nutrients, counteract detrimental antigens, reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections, help reduce bowel distress and inhibit detrimental bacteria and candida albicans.

Beneficial bacteria are required at the proper levels to ensure optimum Iron absorption and use.

Supplemental beneficial bacteria (often referred to as the various strains of Lactobacillus) needs to be consumed with warm water (and allowed to stand for 5-10 minutes) to re-hydrate and become active. This drink is then best taken before retiring.

Beneficial bacteria stimulate the body’s immune system. Throughout life, the stronger the immune system, the healthier we will be. Naturally, in preparation for pregnancy and during pregnancy, mothers aim to be as healthy as possible so that they can also pass on a healthy immune system to the baby.

It is always a good idea to discuss any concerns regarding any illnesses, or medication that you are on, with your health practitioner. Some medicines may alter fertility, and x-rays are known to adversely affect reproductive health.

Whole Food Organic Diet

The whole food organic diet concept briefly outlined above is best if it is carried through the full term of the pregnancy, and to support the mother who can otherwise feel isolated during this period it is helpful if the father accompanies mother in the regime.

There are also some herbs thought to be beneficial during this period such as Basil, which helps circulation. In addition, Raspberry leaves have a number of effects on the female reproductive system, but are advised with caution during early pregnancy. Raspberry leaf tea is one possible way to obtain the benefits of raspberry leaf, and it can be drunk during the last 8 weeks of pregnancy to help tone the uterus. This is believed to make contractions more efficient and therefore shorten labour. Witch hazel applied topically as an ointment can alleviate the breast pain associated with mastalgia.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry Leaf tea has been traditionally used in the latter stages of pregnancy. However, in recent years some medical opinion has advised that this should not be taken without medical advice.

There is substantial evidence that the consumption of raspberry leaf tea reduces the incidence of miscarriages and morning sickness, and strengthens the uterus in women during pregnancy. Raspberry leaf tea is also known to reduce the experience of constipation.

Protein – from Animal or Plant sources

The source of protein is important to consider during pregnancy, and many researchers suggest that the emphasis should be on vegetable origins. Research suggests that vegetables and fruits are probably better than high protein intake from animal sources.

Plant proteins are easier for the digestive system and for the body to utilise beneficially. Most plant foods contain adequate protein, and using vegetables and fruits it would be difficult for a totally vegetarian diet during pregnancy to be short on protein.

Combining different plant proteins, such as fruits, nuts and grains with a vegetable pulse or bean does provide a high quality protein, which can be better during pregnancy than protein from animal foods.

A diet high in proteins from dairy sources has been found to reduce levels of calcium in the body. It is not known by many pregnant mothers-to-be that the calcium content of cow’s milk is only about 30% absorbed, and the body then has to work to eliminate the remaining 70%, using valuable energy in the process.

Elevated intakes of dairy products are associated with migraines, and are responsible for food allergies in some pregnant mothers.

Dermatitis and intestinal problems are also found to be related to dairy products in some pregnant mothers.

Note: many brands of soy protein are available; however, while they are from a plant source, most of these brands actually market a protein that is insoluble. The proteins required by pregnant mothers are soluble proteins.

Supplements for Pregnancy

It is important to remember the earlier message that some nutrients necessary for a healthy immune system for mother, (father) and baby are just not in adequate supply, neither in the soil, nor therefore in plant foods.

To repeat the earlier message, the Animus Health pregnancy formula is designed to help support pregnancy with necessary additional nutrients in a highly absorbable form known as Food State. This term means ’in a form like food’. Unbeknown to many people, most ’natural’ supplements are in a chemical form - not a form the body readily recognizes.

Postpartum and Lactation

One of the key minerals involved in pregnancy and a healthy immune system is Zinc. In order to initiate contractions, the female body needs to increase its copper levels and subsequently decrease its zinc levels. After birth, however, the ratio of these two minerals needs to revert back to zinc in higher concentrations, in order to help the mother to adjust to the postpartum experience and respond to the needs of her baby.

It is thought that post-natal depression is linked to an incorrect ratio between zinc and copper, as well as some other important mineral deficiencies. Therefore it is important to make sure that the mother has enough zinc in her body to be able to respond to the changing demands, and that she takes extra zinc after the birth of the baby to make up for the large amount lost in the placenta.

It is obvious that breast milk is the most suitable and nutritious food for a growing baby, as it is designed to supply all the baby’s requirements, from brain development through to helping to set up the right friendly bacteria in the baby’s gut and strengthening the baby’s immune system. For the milk to be as good as it can, the mother must be as healthy as she can, so that sufficient nutrients can pass through the milk to the baby. As such, the dietary advice regarding good, preferably organic whole-food should still be followed

The Jersey Foodstate Pregnancy Support Formula



Food State Media

% Active in complex

Label Claim



Carrot Concentrate


1 mg


Vitamin B1

Yeast Concentrate


1.5 mg


Vitamin B 2

Yeast Concentrate


1.5 mg


Vitamin B3 as Niacinamide

Yeast Concentrate


10 mg


Vitamin B5 as Pantothenic Acid

Protein Concentrate


5 mg


Vitamin B6

Yeast Concentrate


2 mg


Vitamin B12

Yeast Concentrate


0.2 mg


Vitamin C

Citrus Fruit Media


30 mg


Vitamin D3

Baker’s Yeast

1000 iu/grm

100 iu


Vitamin E

Vegetable Oil

250 iu/grm

5 mg



Soy Concentrate


50 mcg



Soy Concentrate


5 mg


Folic Acid

Alfalfa Concentrate





Corn Meal


5 mg


Vitamin K

Alfalfa Concentrate


20 mcg



Baker’s Yeast


10 mg


GTF Chromium

Baker’s Yeast

2000 iu/grm

30 mcg



Baker’s Yeast


250 mcg



Baker’s Yeast


500 mcg



Baker’s Yeast


3 mg



Baker’s Yeast


5 mg



Baker’s Yeast


1 mg



Baker’s Yeast

2000 iu/grm

10 mcg



Baker’s Yeast

1000 iu/grm

50 mcg



Baker’s Yeast


2.5 mg



Citrus Fruit Media


2 mg



Pregnancy is a time during which there is increased need for antioxidants. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is protective both to the baby’s and the mother’s immune systems, liver, skin, lungs and heart.

Beta-carotene is a precursor of Vitamin A. This means that the body only converts as much Vitamin A as it needs from the Beta-carotene. This conversion is determined by the status of the body’s Vitamin A.

Microwave cooking destroys most Beta-carotene in food.

Any concerns about taking Vitamin A during pregnancy are associated with the pre-formed Vitamin A.

Main food sources for Beta-carotene are:

Fruits cantaloupe, mangoes, melons, apricots peach & cherry
Herbs parsley, chives & chicory
Vegetables carrots, watercress, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale & lettuce

Without conducting a full study, the above food sources could not be guaranteed to provide adequate levels of Beta-carotene during pregnancy.

Note: Margarines and several processed foods list Beta-carotene as an ingredient. However, this is added as a colouring agent (E160A) and is not a source of Beta-carotene as a nutrient.

In studies, the natural Food State form of Beta-carotene was found to be superior to the chemical forms.

Vitamin A or the Precursor, Beta-Carotene?

There is continuing discussion regarding the merits of Vitamin A versus the Beta-carotene form that converts to Vitamin A ’upon demand’ within the body, reducing the potential for Vitamin A toxicity.

The Food and Drug Administration has established a daily recommended allowance (RDA) of 10,000 IU for Vitamin A. (Most of this amount can be obtained as preformed Vitamin A from dietary sources). Because, as we know, Vitamin A is required to ensure reproductive health, it has been recommended that pregnant woman maintain their intake at around 8,000 IU, and that Vitamin A be taken in the form of Beta-carotene, which is not considered toxic.

Women can take Vitamin A in many forms. Pre-formed Vitamin A (retinol or retinyl esters) is found in liver, vitamin tablets, and fortified cereals (as a synthetic Beta-carotene). Beta-carotene is found in fruits and vegetables and is converted to Vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin A does pass through the human placenta, although Beta-carotene is retained. Premature babies are known to be deficient in Vitamin A, perhaps because they have not had time to build up sufficient stores of the vitamin for the stressful first few days of life.

Vitamin A is particularly essential for pregnant women. However, it is important to be satisfied that the dose provided to each mother is at the correct level for that mother. Beta-carotene is considered by many health practitioners as the preferred form for obtaining Vitamin A.

The dangers to both mother and baby from high levels of preformed Vitamin A are very well documented. Preformed Vitamin A given to pregnant females is factually also teratogenic (disturbing the normal growth process of the embryo). Deformities include cranial anomalies, cleft palate, harelip and eye defects, hydrocephalus, spina bifida and xencephalos.

The teratogenic action of Vitamin A excess in animal studies is increased by cortisone, although cortisone is not by itself teratogenic. The combined action is difficult to explain, as cortisone normally stabilizes the membranes which are said to be damaged by Vitamin A excess. High levels of preformed Vitamin A damage lipoprotein membranes (lipoproteins enable lipids to be transported in the blood).

These special lipro-proteins perform the important function of ensuring that beneficial carotenoids (formed in the liver) are transported to the various organs of the body, exerting their therapeutic effects.

The organs distorted in Vitamin A excess are derived from the neural tube, the lens primordia, and the oral cavity, and it is these embryopathic changes that are the result of direct attack by Vitamin A on these ectodermal structures, with alteration of the molecular arrangement of their cell membranes. It is estimated that 10% of all birth defects are caused by a prenatal exposure or teratogen

It is difficult in practice to assess the level of retinol from preformed Vitamin A that each pregnant mother requires to ensure no toxicity. However, we know that Beta-carotene is a less toxic route and that pregnant mothers given Beta-carotene were found to have good and satisfactory retinol levels

British Medical Journal

As just one report in the British Medical Journal stated, weekly dosing with Beta-carotene lowered their mortality by 49%

It is also safer if your supplement contains Vitamin A at least partly in the form of Beta-carotene, rather than preformed Vitamin A, which has been known to cause birth defects when taken in high doses just before conception or during pregnancy . Birth defects have been observed in children born to mothers taking synthetic Vitamin A drugs used to treat acne.
2 VITAMIN B1 (also known as Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in pregnancy is 1.5 mg.

Vitamin B1 is also known as Thiamine. Many different chemicals are called Vitamin B1. However, these can be seen in the ingredient list of supplements not as recognisable foods, but with names such as Thiamine hydrochloride (the most common form), Thiamine diphosphate or Thiamine nitrate.

Pregnancy is a time for reducing the amount of chemicals consumed, as can be seen from these brief descriptions for the forms of Thiamine that are sold as ’natural’ Vitamin B1. We need to remember that these are not natural nutrients, they are chemicals not found in real natural foods. As such, they are particularly undesirable during pregnancy, even though they may be described as ’natural’.

Thiamine contributes to the growth and functioning of a baby’s body organs and nervous system

Supplemental Vitamin B1 at the Food State pregnancy formula level is safe during the period of breast-feeding.

Maternal thiamine deficiency can adversely affect the breast-fed infant, contributing to hypotension and other metabolic distress.


Fatigue can occur during pregnancy - it is a time when many mothers-to-be need additional energy. Vitamin B1 helps to increase energy levels during this time, since it is involved in the reduction of the experience of fatigue.

Morning Sickness

Adequate Vitamin B1 can reduce the experience of morning sickness.

Skin Elasticity

The skin during and following pregnancy requires additional support, and Vitamin B1 helps to prevent undesirable effects such as stretch marks etc. sometimes experienced by pregnant women. Adequate Vitamin B1 intake can enhance the visual appearance of the skin.

Vitamin B1 is a good antioxidant. In the Food State, it helps to strengthen the nervous system that may well be under stress during pregnancy.

In studies, the Food State natural form of Vitamin B1 was found to be superior to the chemical forms.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin B1 are:

Fruits bananas, plums, raisins & plum contain only trace amounts
Grains brown rice & millet, wheat germ & wheat bran contain only trace amounts
Herbs peppermint & rosehips contain only trace amounts
Nuts pine nuts, pistachio, almond, walnut, pecan & cashew nuts contain only trace amounts
Seeds sunflower seeds
Vegetables lentils, broccoli, green beans, garlic, avocado & peas – these all contain only trace amounts

No toxic effects have ever been documented for orally-ingested Vitamin B1.


Vitamin B2 is water-soluble and is not stored in the body. It must, therefore, be taken daily to ensure adequate nutrient levels.

Adequate levels of Vitamin B2 are also necessary during pregnancy to facilitate normal growth and development, reproduction and lactation. Physical Vitamin B2 is an important vitamin that is associated with the feeling of well-being.

Vitamin B2 deficiency was found to be one of the most common nutrient deficiencies among pregnant mothers.

Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. Like Vitamin B1, this vitamin is also commonly sold in different chemical forms described as ’natural’. High intakes of the chemical form of Vitamin B2 do not get absorbed above a low level.

Like Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 is also a beneficial antioxidant during pregnancy, as it can enhance the production of additional energy.

The status of Vitamin B2 during pregnancy is especially important, as studies show a direct correlation with the Vitamin B2 levels found in breast milk.

Published information in medical literature has not reported any adverse effects of Vitamin B2 in relation to foetal development during pregnancy, or to infants who are breast-fed.


This is a form of pregnancy-induced hypertension that can develop for many mothers between the 20th week of pregnancy and the end of the first week postpartum, due to Vitamin B2 deficiency.

Research has shown that the incidence of deficiency rose toward the end of pregnancy for 27% of pregnant mothers, rising even higher as pregnancy progressed in up to over 50% of expectant mothers


Adequate levels of Vitamin B2 are necessary to maintain beneficial levels for breast-feeding.


Vitamin B2 is involved in the production of energy and helps to reduce fatigue. Pregnancy is a time when many women need additional energy. This vitamin helps to increase energy levels at this time.

Expectant mothers who take a high level of exercise have a greater need than those who exercise only moderately.

Skin Elasticity

The skin, hair and nails during and following pregnancy require additional support, and Vitamin B2 helps to prevent the undesirable effects experienced by some pregnant women. Vitamin B2 helps to reduce excess fat, and adequate Vitamin B2 intake can enhance the visual appearance of the skin, hair and nails.

In studies, the Food State natural form of Vitamin B2 was found to be superior to the chemical ’natural’ forms.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin B2 are:

Dairy organic yoghurt, parmesan & Cheddar cheese contain only trace amounts
Fish sardines & eel contain only trace amounts
Fruits  currants contain only trace amounts
Fungi  mushrooms
Grains  brown rice & millet, wheat germ, rice & wheat bran contain only trace amounts
Herbs  peppermint & tea contain only trace amounts
Legumes  soybeans, split peas, mung & pinto beans contain only trace amounts
Meats  lamb kidney & liver, beef & organic chicken
Nuts  almond & chest nuts contain only trace amounts
Seeds  sunflower seeds
Vegetables  broccoli, okra (ladies fingers), chilli, spinach & avocado contain only trace amounts

The amounts of Vitamin B2 require careful balancing to ensure proper intake. The Food State pregnancy formula supplies 100% of the required intake for pregnant mothers.

No toxic effects have ever been documented for orally-ingested Vitamin B2.

Note: Alcohol has been shown to increase the excretion of Vitamin B2.

4 VITAMIN B3 as Niacinamide

This is a water-soluble vitamin and needs to be replaced daily. The Niacinamide form of Vitamin B3 has been shown to act as a potent antioxidant providing beneficial effects in the nervous system and brain.

Niacinamide is involved in the proper digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This vitamin is necessary for the proper production of energy, especially important during pregnancy.

The Niacinamide form of Vitamin B3 is the safe active form into which the body converts food. This form has been shown to reduce the incidence of cramps during pregnancy.

Anxiety and Sleep

Pregnancy can be a time of nervous stress and anxiety, and this form of Vitamin B3 has been found to help alleviate anxiety, as well as being shown to improve the quality of sleep and rest, which is so important during pregnancy. Niacinamide has also been found to help reduce the incidence of depression sometimes experienced during pregnancy.

Bones and Joints

This form of Vitamin B3 has been found to be protective to bones, which can be a concern for some expectant mothers. Joint flexibility is enhanced during pregnancy and this vitamin helps reduce undesirable inflammation that can occur at this time.


Adequate levels of Vitamin B3 are necessary to maintain beneficial levels for breast-feeding. No adverse or undesirable reactions have been found with the Food State Niacinamide. At levels of 100mg and above, the chemical form has been shown to be best avoided during pregnancy, however.

Many clinical studies have shown this form of Vitamin B3 to be safe for pregnant mothers and baby.

Blood Sugar

Niacinamide has been found to be helpful in lowering and stabilising elevated blood sugar, another possible undesirable occurrence during pregnancy.

Anti- Aging

Niacinamide has been shown to help retard the aging process and has been found to improve skin.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin B3 are:

Fish cod contains low amounts of this vitamin
Grains  brown rice contains reasonable amounts of vitamin B3
Herbs  ginger & rosehips, contain only trace amounts
Legumes  miso & green peas contain only trace amounts
Meats  lamb kidney & liver, beef & organic chicken
Nuts  pine nuts, pistachio, almond, walnut, pecan & cashew nuts contain only trace amounts
Seeds  sunflower seeds
Vegetables  broccoli & watercress contain only trace amounts

Niacinamide (also known as Nicotinamide) is the main form of Vitamin B3 present in dietary sources.

5 VITAMIN B5 (also known as Pantothenic acid)

Pantothenic Acid is a natural form of Vitamin B5, and another member of the Vitamin B complex that is water-soluble. It is required daily as it is ’washed out’ in the urine.

High intake (250mg plus) of the chemical form Vitamin B5 is not advisable during pregnancy. In the Food State form, higher levels of this vitamin have not been found to have any adverse effects during pregnancy.


During pregnancy there is an increased need for this vitamin and a slightly higher need still during breast-feeding.


Vitamin B5 is involved in the regulation of proper antibody production. It is also involved with the proper function of the adrenal glands. When we experience elevated levels of stress, these glands release special substances that help us cope better.

Protein and Vitamin B 5

Pregnancy is a time when proper proteins levels are important for foetal development. A low intake of this vitamin has been found to slow baby’s growth and development. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) has been found to increase energy levels by improving the conversion of proteins into additional energy.

Protein – from Animal or Plant sources

The source of protein is important to consider during pregnancy, and many researchers suggest that the emphasis should on vegetable proteins. Research suggests that vegetables and fruits are probably better than high protein intake from animal sources.

Plant proteins are easier for the digestive system and the body to utilise. Most plant foods contain adequate protein, and during pregnancy it would be unlikely for a totally vegetarian diet of vegetables and fruits to provide inadequate amounts of protein.
Combining differing plant proteins such as fruits, nuts and grains with a vegetable pulse or bean does provide a high quality protein which can be better during pregnancy than protein from animal foods.

A diet high in proteins from dairy sources has been found to reduce levels of calcium within the body. Few pregnant mothers realise that only about 30% of the calcium content of cow’s milk is absorbed, and that the body then has to work to eliminate the remaining 70%, using valuable energy in the process.

Elevated intakes of dairy products are associated with migraines, and can also be responsible for food allergies in some pregnant women.

Dermatitis and intestinal problems are also found to be related to dairy products among some pregnant women.

Note: Many brands of soy protein are available. However, while these are from a plant source, most of the brands on the market actually contain a protein that is insoluble. Pregnant mothers require soluble proteins.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid are:

Dairy organic chicken egg yolks, blue & Cheddar cheese
Fish herring, wild salmon, crab, lobster & sardines
Fruits  avocado, ripe bananas & dates contain small amounts
Fungi mushrooms contain this vitamin
Grains  brown rice, wild rice, wheat germ & wheat bran contain small amounts of vitamin B5
Herbs  dandelion contains only trace amounts
Legumes  lentils, split peas, green beans & soya beans green peas contain trace amounts
Meats  lamb’s liver, beef & beef kidney, organic chicken & turkey
Nuts  almond, walnut, pecan, cashew, chestnuts, coconuts & hazelnuts contain small amounts
Seeds  sunflower seeds
Vegetables  broccoli cauliflower, green beans, sweet potato & kale contain only small amounts

Note: Vitamin B5 can be manufactured within the body by beneficial bacteria within the digestive tract. However, its production is considerably reduced if antibiotics have been taken.


Vitamin B6 has beneficial antioxidant properties. It is water-soluble and needs to be replaced on a daily basis. Vitamin B6 importantly acts as a co-enzyme, which means it helps to convert some important amino acids into additional beneficial substances.

Most people in westernized nations consuming a western diet only obtain an average 1.73 mg of Vitamin B6 per day; the RDA is 2mg in most countries. However, it was found that the intake of as many as 90% of women and 71% of men was below the RDA.

Note: Pregnant mothers who had used anovulatory steroids before pregnancy (this is a treatment when the monthly cycle fails to occur) were commonly found to be deficient in this important vitamin during pregnancy.

Morning Sickness
During pregnancy Vitamin B6 is involved with the metabolisation of specific proteins that have been shown to reduce the incidence of nausea. A drink of freshly-cut root ginger each day in combination with Vitamin B6 was shown to further reduce the incidence of morning sickness.

Saturated Fatty Acids

These are simple fats that are a necessary part of the cell membranes. However, consumption of this class of fats during pregnancy is unwise, as high intake reduces the permeability of cell membranes and increases the incidence of morning sickness.

Vitamin B6 is involved with the reduction of oxidised harmful fats, especially the superoxide free radicals. Superoxide free radicals can severely damage the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) content of the body’s cells. These radicals are also known to affect adversely the appearance of healthy skin.

Note: High or excessive levels of exercise can increase the generation of superoxide free radicals. Moderate exercise, however, does not produce negative effects.

Pregnant mothers should note that a high intake of this form of fats has been shown to reduce the absorption of magnesium, as well as reducing the store of calcium within the body.

Vitamin B6 has been shown to facilitate the removal of the toxic substances that cause or contribute to body odour.


Daily supplementation with Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce significantly the incidence of preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension).

Energy and Vitamin B6

This vitamin is an essential cofactor for the production of energy; it helps reduce the experience of fatigue that can debilitate pregnant mothers.

B6 is involved with the conversion of iron into haemoglobin, thus helping to reduce the feeling of tiredness.

Nerve Function and B6

Pregnant mothers have found that good levels of Vitamin B6 have alleviated the incidence of irritability and ’feeling low’. This vitamin is important for proper nervous system function. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help alleviate oedema during pregnancy.

Note: Pharmaceutical antibiotics have been associated with the excretion of Vitamin B6


Vitamin B12 is important during pregnancy as it performs many roles in supporting the good health of both mother and baby. This nutrient also works synergistically with other nutrients, especially those within the Vitamin B group, to form additional beneficial substances. Optimal Vitamin B12 status during pregnancy has been found to help prevent neural tube defects.

Red Blood Cells

We need to remember the importance of maintaining proper levels of red blood cells: these cells deliver oxygen and remove waste.

Vitamin B12 is only required in very small amounts; however, the role this vitamin performs with regard to building new blood cells requires the supply to be sufficient. B12 is involved with the proper function of mother’s nervous system, while an adequate supply is also required for baby’s developing nervous system.

A deficiency during pregnancy can impair optimum development of myelin sheath, which functions to protect and further the development of nerve cell membranes. Inflammation of the nerves can occur when Vitamin B12 is low.

Anaemia (also called pernicious anaemia)

Within the body, the need for iron during pregnancy to produce red blood cells is very well established; Vitamin B12 – together with Folic Acid - is required at optimum levels. Without the necessary replacement of red blood cells, anaemia, a reduction in red blood cells, can result. Anaemia has been found to be present due to a lack of Vitamin B12. This condition is also called ’pernicious anaemia’.

Healthy Heart

Homocysteine is a detrimental substance linked with impaired heart function. It is important to keep an adequate intake of nutrients that reduce the influence of homocysteine. This substance has been found to increase the risk of neural tube defects and has been identified as a substance that can elevate the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin B12 has been shown to play an important role in lowering homocysteine by converting this substance to a beneficial nutrient.


Mood changes that can occur during pregnancy have been associated with low Vitamin B12 status. Adequate levels of this vitamin have been shown to reduce anxiety.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin B12 are:

Dairy Cheddar, Swiss & some blue cheeses
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fish sardines haddock, scallops, clams, wild salmon, cod, herring, wild salmon, crab & lobster
Grains  brown rice, wild rice, wheat germ & wheat bran contain small amounts of vitamin B12
Herbs  fenugreek contains only trace amounts
Meats  lamb & lamb’s liver & kidney, beef liver & beef kidney, organic chicken liver
SeaVegetables Nori, Kombu & kelp
Seeds  sunflower seeds
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid-acidic) is a water-soluble vitamin, and needs to be replaced daily to maintain and build good health. Many forms of this vitamin are available, and ascorbic acid is commonly used as a generic term, as well as for the specific isolated form – pure ascorbic acid alone. In nature, ascorbic acid is associated with other nutrients in a bound form, not as an isolate.

Ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that can counteract, deactivate, inhibit and destroy various forms of harmful free radicals.

Pregnancy and Ascorbic Acid

There is an increased need for this vitamin during pregnancy; one reason is that the growing baby ’takes’ this vitamin from mother for its own development needs. Women who experienced pregnancy-induced hypertension (preeclampsia) were found to be significantly low in Vitamin C. Women who experienced difficulty becoming pregnant were given Vitamin C, and this resulted in a doubling of the rate of conception.

Women who were not ovulating or not menstruating were given Vitamin C, which resulted in ovulation in 40% of women, and in 21% of subjects falling pregnant.
Low Vitamin C levels of pregnant mothers were found to be associated with incidence of miscarriage; pregnant mothers with optimal levels of Vitamin C reduced by half the chance of miscarriage. Men with low sperm counts were found to benefit significantly in terms of sperm quality and quantity following increased intake of Vitamin C.

Detrimental Bacteria

The over-proliferation of detrimental bacteria in the digestive system occurs in over 30% of people consuming a ’western diet’.

Pre-menstrual syndrome, vaginitis and leukorrhea are directly associated with the over-proliferation of candida albicans. Vitamin C is destroyed by candida albicans, and this increases the need for additional intake of this vitamin.

Muscle Strengthening

During pregnancy, mother can experience lower back pain as there is an obvious strain on the back muscles and ligaments. Posture is a very important factor during pregnancy, as lifting requires proper technique of straightening the back and bending at the knees.

Supplemental Vitamin C has proved beneficial to pregnant mothers, as it has been shown to reduce the incidence of backache sometimes associated with pregnancy. Following Vitamin C supplementation, this vitamin has been shown to reduce the severity of muscle cramps and eliminate leg cramps in almost half of pregnant women.

Mouth Hygiene

Some hormones during pregnancy are implicated with bleeding gums. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) is associated with low Vitamin C levels during pregnancy. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Vitamin C has also been shown to protect and prevent harmful bacteria causing periodontal disease.


The incidence and risk of anaemia during pregnancy increases, requiring additional Iron. Vitamin C helps reduce the severity of anaemia by facilitating and improving the absorption of Iron.

Hair, Skin and Nails

During pregnancy, some mothers experience thinning hair, and ironically, during pregnancy hair can grow faster. Vitamin C has been found to be a ’balancing factor’, acting as a ’regulator of the hair growth and loss cycle’.

During pregnancy mothers can experience both an increase in ’surface oil’ and dry skin patches. Vitamin C has been shown to balance and improve the appearance and health of the skin.

Vitamin C helps to reduce brittle and flaky nails by helping iron absorption levels; low iron is associated with nail problems.


Pregnant women are more susceptible to experiencing haemorrhoids during pregnancy. Research has shown that with adequate levels of Vitamin C the blood vessels are strengthened, thus reducing the incidence of haemorrhoids

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are four times more common in women than men, and the incidence increases during pregnancy among some women. This condition does clear up quite naturally following birth in many women; however, for the varicose veins that persist Vitamin C supplementation can help reduce swelling and improve the integrity of blood veins. Vitamin C is important in this healing process as it is involved in the production of collagen. Collagen is a beneficial material that plays an essential role in strengthening the walls of blood vessels.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin C are:

Fruit guavas, oranges, lemons, papaya, cantaloupe, acerola cherry, blackcurrants, mango, raspberries, tangerine, ripe banana, ripe pineapple, persimmons, apple, apricot, strawberry & currants
Herbs red chilli, parsley, rosehip, paprika & gingko biloba
Legumes lima beans, green peas & soya beans
Meats beef liver
Seafood oysters
Vegetables kale, red capsicum, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, carrot, asparagus, radish, garlic, green beans, cauliflower, tomato, onions & greens

Note of Interest:
Optimum levels of Vitamin C have been found (through their antioxidant activity) to help reduce oxidative damage, helping to slow the aging process.


Vitamin D has a positive effect on the immune system.

It is also important to remember the many other beneficial health associations of Vitamin D. While it is classified as a fat-soluble antioxidant, its other benefits during pregnancy are considerable.

Infertility has been associated with women who show a low Vitamin D status; however, this may be only one of several reasons for infertility.


It is established that 5% of pregnant women experience preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension). An adequate intake of Vitamin D can help prevention and management of preeclampsia.

Pregnant mothers with elevated homocysteine levels are at a seven times greater risk of preeclampsia. It is to be noted that studies have shown that an elevated intake of sucrose (white sugar) can produce at least a doubling of the risk for preeclampsia,

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Evidence shows that women with irregular menstrual cycles and low Vitamin D intake (100 - 150iu daily) had almost twice the risk of PMS compared with women with adequate intake (700iu). The evidence suggests that low and fluctuating Vitamin D levels during the menstrual cycle is a factor in PMS.

Further evidence indicates that women with luteal phase symptomatology (shortening of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle) may also have an underlying low calcium status with a secondary Vitamin D deficiency.


There is an increased need for Vitamin D during pregnancy for many women (some researchers say most women). A low Vitamin D status during pregnancy has been associated with several health problems. Researchers repeatedly advise that Vitamin D supplementation should be routinely recommended in pregnancy.

Adequate Vitamin D status during Pregnancy

An adequate intake of Vitamin D during pregnancy can lead to significant decreases in the incidence of asthma in young children. Studies show that higher Vitamin D intake by pregnant mothers reduces asthma risk by as much as 40% in children 3 to 5 years old.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006 (Vol. 84, No. 2, 273, August) in a paper entitled "Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy: an ongoing epidemic" stated in their conclusions:

We believe that these studies are essential. As mentioned earlier, we believe that they are important because Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy not only is linked to maternal skeletal preservation and foetal skeletal formation but also is vital to the foetal ’imprinting’ that may affect chronic disease susceptibility later in life as well as soon after birth.

One need only review a recent report by Javaid et al to appreciate the effect of maternal nutritional Vitamin D status on childhood bone mineral accrual. The same may well be true for the risks of developing autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (which has recently been linked to seasonality of birth; and rheumatoid arthritis, or of conditions such as malignancy).

Most important is the role of nutritional Vitamin D status in activating the human innate immune system that is reported by Liu et al. This seminal article described the way in which circulating 25(OH)D, through the induction of cathelicidin in macrophages, is able to contain Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This observation could have profound implications with respect to the treatment of a variety of infections. A final important point is that the induction of cathelicidin in this study did not occur when circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D were 20 nmol/L but, rather, occurred only when serum was repeated with 80 nmol 25(OH)D/L.

This biomarker of nutritional Vitamin D status clearly shows that higher circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D are beneficial to human health. Who would have thought that a ’simple nutrient’ could possess such global health potential?

They defined deficiency as circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] – which is interesting, as the Food State form of Vitamin D has the active metabolite as validated by the Linus Pauling institute in a pilot research conducted by Dr Jeffery Bland which stated:

A study on the food state Vitamin D3 looking for Vitamin D metabolites, specifically 25-hydroxy vitamin D and 125-dihydroxy Vitamin D has been carried out. The results, using a high pressure liquid chromatographic analysis for the evaluation of 25-hydroxy and 125-dihydroxy Vitamin D3 are as follows:

25-hydroxy vitamin D2 and D3 - 150 micrograms per kilogram
125-dihydroxy vitamin D2 and D3 - 385 nanagrams per kilogram

The sensitivity levels of these tests are as follows:

25-hydroxy vitamin D  - 50 micrograms per kilogram
125-dihydroxy vitamin D  - 100 nanagrams per kilogram

Based upon these similarities, we can say that there is a measurable and significant quantity of Vitamin D metabolites present in the Food State Vitamin D3 yeast concentrate. Given this information, it would seem worthwhile to engage in a study to evaluate the impact that this product may have on relative calcium absorption in individuals who are normally Vitamin D resistant.

There is good evidence now from published work the last several months in the nutritional literature that the use of food stuffs containing active metabolites of Vitamin D (calcinogenic sterols) are useful for improving calcium absorption in those individuals who may be suffering from Vitamin D non-responsive rickets of under-conversion problems with regard to Vitamin D metabolism.

Extracted from a letter from:

Dr. J. Bland of the Laboratory for Nutritional Supplement analysis,
The Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine

Research also states that Vitamin D at adequate levels and above the RDA facilitates the incorporation of calcium into teeth of offspring

Blood Sugar

Vitamin D is involved with the metabolic process that can lower elevated blood sugar. Women with a low Vitamin D status was more likely to experience diabetes type 2 compared with women with adequate Vitamin D status. Vitamin D3 deficiency may at least partly contribute to the impairment of insulin secretion.

Researchers found that adequate Vitamin D can reduce the risk factor for syndrome ’X’. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance and insulin deficiency.

Bone Health

Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to help to prevent osteoporosis, as this vitamin is involved with the regulation of the important calcium and phosphorus balance by activating special cells known as osteoblasts responsible for the growth and repair of bones. Osteoblasts also are importantly involved with the deposition of the necessary collagen for bone tissue repair.

Low levels of Vitamin D among women appear to be associated with an increased risk of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Vitamin D is required for normal cartilage metabolism, which is a significant component of proper function of bones, joints and our intervertebral disks.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin D are:

Dairy Foods butter, cream, cheese & milk
Dietary Oils halibut liver oil** & cod liver oil
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fish kippers
Fungi mushrooms
Herbs basil
Meats beef & liver
Seafood sardines, tuna, wild salmon, herring, oysters & shrimp
Seeds sunflower seeds
Yeasts brewer’s yeast

** Halibut liver oil contains more than three times the Vitamin D content compared to Cod liver oil.

A Note regarding Vitamin D and Pregnancy

A scientific publication from the Department of Pediatrics, Darby Children’s Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

The researchers Bruce W Hollis and Carol L Wagner stated in their report, titled
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy - an ongoing epidemic:

"As mentioned earlier, we believe that they are important because Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy not only is linked to maternal skeletal preservation and foetal skeletal formation but also is vital to the foetal ’imprinting’ that may affect chronic disease susceptibility later in life as well as soon after birth."

(Permission may be necessary to reprint this statement).


Note: all statements in this section refer to dietary Vitamin E and low dosage supplemental intake.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can counteract, deactivate, inhibit and destroy various forms of harmful free radicals.

There are many health benefits associated with Vitamin E. However, there is also a need to drawn attention to the concerns of many obstetricians and other heath professionals involved with pregnancy. These concerns essentially relate to high doses of the isolated form of the vitamin which, while called ’natural’, is in fact a chemical formula and not from food.

Respiratory Health Benefits

Vitamin E (low dosage) has been shown to be beneficial during pregnancy and is associated with reduced colds and improvement in resistance to influenza infections and a reduction in the risk for upper respiratory infections.
With adequate levels of Vitamin E, there is a reduction in the severity and prevalence of allergies.

Low vitamin E levels during pregnancy were found to be associated in expectant Mothers with increased asthma, and reduced lung function in children at the age of five.


Vitamin E increases the immune system’s response to infection during pregnancy and following birth. Vitamin E supplementation has been found beneficial in helping to reduce bacterial and viral diseases (infections) and reduced sensitivity to bacterial invasion.

Hair and Skin

Vitamin E can improve the condition and the appearance of healthy ’silky’ hair.

Vitamin E has been shown to inhibit the toxic effects of ultra-violet radiation that induces the generation of harmful free radicals in the skin.

Vitamin E is protective against skin aging.

Vitamin E supplementation has been reported as producing good results in the reduction of discoid lupus erythematosus.

Main Food Sources for Vitamin E are:

Dietary Oils wheat germ oil, maize oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil
Eggs organic eggs
Fish shrimps
Fruits bananas, blackberries
Grains brown rice, oatmeal & wheat germ 
Herbs parsley, mustard
Seeds sunflower seeds
Vegetables carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, tomatoes, watercress


Biotin is a water-soluble member of the Vitamin B group. This beneficial substance needs to be replaced daily. There is an increase in the excretion of Biotin via the urine during pregnancy. This elevated Biotin excretion reduces the production of several important enzymes and lowers activity of several other necessary and important beneficial substances.

Cell Function

Biotin is necessary for proper cell growth, and a lack of this beneficial substance is associated with slow growth. Adequate daily intake is directly associated with the production of antibodies that are essential to the function of both mother’s and baby’s immune systems. It has been established that the need for Biotin is increased during pregnancy. Biotin helps to increase the function of many vitamins, and it is also a beneficial co-factor that activates several important enzymes.


Biotin is an important co-factor that facilitates the production of enzymes involved with the body’s production of energy. A deficiency of Biotin is associated with fatigue and muscle weakness. Besides being necessary for proper regulation of blood sugar, Biotin promotes good liver function.

Muscle pain is also associated with Biotin deficiency.

Skin, Hair and Nails

Biotin has been found to reduce the incidence of infantile eczema and dermatitis. Dry and flaky skin has been associated with low Biotin intake during pregnancy.

The normal process of hair, skin and nail growth can be disrupted during pregnancy. Proper levels of Biotin have been shown both to improve the appearance of skin, and to diminish stretch marks.

Pregnant mothers can experience hair loss, and indeed infantile hair loss has also been associated with Biotin deficiency. The sebaceous glands in the skin are responsible for the delivery of sebum, a type of beneficial fat involved with protecting hair follicles, helping to maintain the ’silky’ appearance of hair.

Biotin helps to reduce the incidence of brittle nails. Research has shown, in fact, that over 90% of women experienced firmer and harder nails after taking the optimal intake of Biotin.

Morning Sickness

Nausea, and indeed the experience of vomiting, was found to be alleviated by adequate Biotin intake.

Main Food Sources for Natural Biotin are:

Eggs organic egg yolk
Fish haddock, cod, tuna, halibut & wild salmon
Fruit ripe banana
Fungi mushrooms
Grains  brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, barley & wheat bran contain small amounts of vitamin biotin
Herbs  alfalfa** & dandelion contain only trace amounts
Legumes split peas, soya bean & lentils
Meats  beef, kidney, liver & organic chicken
Nuts almonds, pecan & walnuts
Sea Vegetables  kelp
Vegetables cauliflower, corn & kelp
Yeasts brewer’s yeast

** Pregnant mothers are advised against high intake of alfalfa.


Choline is another water-soluble member of the Vitamin B group of nutrients, and daily intake is required. Choline research demonstrated that this nutrient supplemented during pregnancy helps prevent and reduce the incidence of neural tube defects.

Choline functions in the liver to make other beneficial nutrients that are components of all cells and necessary for their proper structure and function.

Brain, Memory and Development

Choline is a nutrient that many pregnant mothers are not familiar with, both in regard to their own health and that of baby. This nutrient adapts to enhance other beneficial nutrients and functions, helping both mother and baby. It has been found in studies to be associated with enhancing baby’s memory and brain development. In older children too, Choline has been found to increase concentration and improve learning skills.


Choline helps to enhance the function of the liver, preventing the accumulation of harmful fats. This nutrient also helps to prevent the loss of carnitine, a beneficial protein manufactured in the liver that is known to have anti-obesity effects.

Mothers have found this protein of value following baby’s birth to ’get back in trim’.


During pregnancy, adequate Choline is required by the muscles to sustain muscle strength. It helps other beneficial substances perform their function, thus ensuring that muscles are able to release energy.

Higher levels of Choline are required during pregnancy to ensure that acetylcholine, another form of Choline, is available for brain function, Higher levels of Choline are also required for neuron functioning, and for development of the nervous system.

Main Food Sources for Natural Choline are:

Dairy organic yoghurt & cream cheese
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fish many different fish contain choline – mackerel should be avoided
Fungi mushrooms
Grains wheat germ & oat bran
Herbs ginger, liquorice, dandelion leaves, peppermint & alfalfa**
Legumes soya beans
Meats beef & beef liver, organic chicken & chicken liver
Seeds mustard seeds
Vegetables spinach, avocado, garlic, iceberg lettuce & broccoli
Yeasts brewer’s yeast

Lecithin is a very good source of Choline.


The importance of this member of the Vitamin B group is well known. However, we also need to be aware that it is a water-soluble nutrient and daily intake is required to replace daily loss. Folic Acid works synergistically with other nutrients in the Vitamin B group to enhance their biological uptake and function.

There are many chemical forms of this substance, and we do need to be aware that in being described as ’natural’, this does not mean that the Folic Acid is in the same form as found in food. Since Food State Folic Acid is in the same form as found in food, however, it is easier for our body to recognise and therefore metabolise more effectively.

Folic Acid has been shown help to prevent miscarriages; this process is by lowering homocysteine, which is implicated with the incidence of miscarriages


The body’s requirement for Folic Acid during pregnancy doubles. A deficiency during pregnancy has been shown to cause neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Low Folic Acid intake has been associated with, and is a contributing factor in causing, low birth weight.

According to research, women with low Folic Acid (folate) levels were found to be at increased risk of spontaneous miscarriage.


Canadian women who consumed Folic Acid in multi-formula supplements during the second trimester of their pregnancy had a 63% reduction in their risk of preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension).

Multi-formula supplements containing Folic Acid were found to reduce the risk of gestational hypertension. A significant decrease in homocysteine was also found. Elevated homocysteine and reduced serum folate concentrations were risk factors for recurrent spontaneous early pregnancy losses. Folic Acid supplementation could thus be beneficial for women with a history of early pregnancy loss.


Folic Acid supplementation has been shown to be beneficial in stimulating good lactation.

Downs Syndrome

Folic Acid supplementation has been shown to reduce the potential risk of Downs Syndrome as compared with women at risk who did not receive Folic Acid supplements. The researchers found that Folic Acid and Iron supplementation appeared to have a preventative effect against Down’s syndrome.


Low Folic Acid levels have been shown to contribute to fatigue. Supplemental Folic Acid was shown to diminish fatigue, and many researchers believe that fatigue is a key factor with Folic Acid deficiency.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers have been found to be 50% deficient in Folic Acid. In fact, over 80% of people given Folic Acid supplementation found that they experienced improvement.

Skin, Hair and Nails

Folic Acid supplementation has been shown to be beneficial in improving firmness of the skin and reducing the skin marks and rough skin that some women experience during pregnancy. Women taking supplemental Folic Acid experienced a significant decrease of fine and coarse wrinkles.

This nutrient was also shown to reduce the experience of ’washed out skin’, improving its appearance.

Folic Acid can reduce thinning hair and hair loss sometimes experienced by pregnant women.

Nails have been found to strengthen and become less brittle with adequate Folic Acid intake.

Main Food Sources for Natural Folic Acid are:

Dairy organic cottage cheese**
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fish wild salmon & oysters
Fruit figs, ripe bananas, dates, ripe pineapple (including the stem), blackberries, loganberries, cantaloupe & watermelon
Fungi mushrooms
Grains wheat germ, rye, oatmeal & barley
Legumes kidney beans, navy beans, lentils, lima beans, chick peas, mung beans, split peas & soya beans
Meats beef & beef liver, organic chicken & chicken liver
Nuts almonds, pecan, walnuts & coconut
Seeds mustard seeds
Vegetables avocado, cabbage, green beans, kale, broccoli, corn, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, watercress & leeks
Yeasts brewer’s yeast

** Portions of cottage cheese should be limited to 2 ounces at any one time

Note: It is a fact that the daily requirement for water increases during pregnancy, and morning sickness has been associated with too low water consumption. However, too high or excessive consumption water will facilitate increased loss of Folic Acid.

Cooking and Frozen Food

Note: When food is cooked at high temperature, the Folic Acid content is destroyed.

Freezing foods destroys Folic Acid.


Inositol is a member of the Vitamin B group of nutrients; this nutrient has antioxidant properties that have been shown to help reduce neural tube defects by approximately 25%. Inositol has also been found to reduce the incidence of spina bifida.

Research has shown that while Folic Acid was helpful in reducing neural tube defects, not all aspects of this condition were helped by Folic Acid alone. Inositol was found to be beneficial in reducing neural tube defects that the Folic Acid did not appear to help. The synergistic effects of combining Folic Acid and Inositol enhanced the overall reduction with regard to neural tube defects.

Both male and female infertility are associated with Inositol deficiency. Research found that among women who experience polycystic ovary syndrome and oligomenorrhea (infrequent menstruation), consuming Inositol improved ovary function.


Inositol helps to reduce anxiety and has a calming effect on the central nervous system. Inositol (which concentrates in the brain) acts as a co-factor working with other nutrients to reduce the experience of stress and help to reduce the experience of depression.

Hair, Nails and Skin

Inositol protects hair follicles, and helps proper hair growth, keeping hair in a healthy condition. Inositol helps to delay the greying appearance of hair.

Inositol can be helpful in reducing and preventing the experience of eczema.

Dermatitis is associated with Inositol deficiency.

Nail biting was found to be markedly reduced with adequate Inositol levels


Inositol helps to strengthen the cells in the eye and has been found effective in reducing the incidence of cataracts. Inositol concentrates in the eye where it functions to improve cell membranes.

Main Food Sources for Natural Inositol are:

Eggs organic egg yolk
Fruit cantaloupe, raisins, peaches, strawberry & watermelon
Grains wheat germ, barley, whole wheat, oatmeal & brown rice
Herbs alfalfa**, dandelion, ginger & hops
Legumes navy beans, lentils, lima beans, chick peas, split peas, green peas & soya beans
Meats beef & beef liver
Vegetables cabbage, corn, cauliflower, onions, tomato, lettuce & sweet potato
Yeasts brewer’s yeast

Lecithin and organic molasses (un-sulphured) are good sources of Inositol

** While alfalfa provides valuable nutrients, this herb should not be consumed in excess when pregnant


Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that has in recent years been found to provide many more significant health benefits than previously thought. Vitamin K acts within the body both as a vitamin with its own health benefits, while also functioning as an important cofactor and activator to many other beneficial biological processes.

The body’s requirement for Vitamin K increases during pregnancy. 33% of pregnant women are found to be deficient in Vitamin K

Vitamin K is an antioxidant that supports the liver and helps to reduce the potential harm from free radicals’ damage. To maintain energy levels the body requires adequate Vitamin K to produce the energy process known as ATP.

Inhibiting Toxins and Inflammation

Vitamin K also functions to inhibit potentially toxic substances; this vitamin also acts to reduce or inhibit completely substances that contribute to inflammatory processes.

Bone Health

Vitamin K1 has been shown both to enhance the health of bones, and to reduce the loss of calcium from bones.

Vitamin K helps to retain calcium in the bones and helps to prevent the accumulation of excessive calcium in other organs of the body (such as the arteries and heart).

Morning Sickness

Adequate levels of Vitamin K have been shown to reduce the incidence of morning sickness during pregnancy.

Main Food Sources for Natural Vitamin K are:

Eggs organic egg yolk
Fruit cantaloupe, raisins, peaches, strawberry & watermelon
Grains wheat germ, barley, whole wheat, oatmeal & brown rice
Herbs green tea, parsley & alfalfa**
Legumes green peas & soybeans
Meats beef & beef liver
Vegetables cabbage, corn, cauliflower, onions, tomato, lettuce & sweet potato
Yeasts brewer’s yeast

** Pregnant mothers are advised against high intake of alfalfa.



Calcium is essential for good bone health; this mineral is often ’leached’ from women’s bones during pregnancy. A reduction of calcium during pregnancy has been found to contribute to osteoporosis later in life. The incidence of constipation during pregnancy is often associated with low calcium levels; adequate calcium intake has been shown to reduce constipation.

Calcium is known to reduce the build-up of toxic substances that can occur during pregnancy.

Muscle Cramps

The proper movement of muscles requires adequate calcium. Leg and muscle cramps are often associated with a reduced calcium intake. Those that can occur in women during pregnancy can be alleviated with adequate calcium supply.

Preeclampsia (Hypertension - associated with Oedema)

Hypertension can occur during the latter stages of pregnancy; adequate calcium has been shown to help reduce this form of hypertension that can occur in five percent of mothers during pregnancy and during the early period of postpartum

Women using calcium supplements during pregnancy should avoid using the calcium carbonate form of calcium, as this inhibits the absorption of Iron - Iron is an important nutrient for women during this time as it helps to prevent Iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women.


The increasing tummy weight during pregnancy does contribute to a curvature of the spine. The additional pressure on the spinal column is a contributing factor to backache as baby grows. The experience during pregnancy can be associated with low calcium intake.

Varicose Veins

Susceptibility to varicose veins during pregnancy increases considerably, as does the experience of oedema. Research has shown that adequate dietary intake of Vitamin K may be a necessary to reduce susceptibility to developing varicose veins.

Main Food Sources for Natural Calcium are:

Cereal grains buckwheat, wheat germ, rye, barley & brown rice
Dairy cheese (Swiss, Cheddar & parmesan, cottage cheese), whey powder, live yoghurt, organic goats & cow’s milk**
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fruits figs, olives, dates, grapes, raisins, ripe banana, bilberry, apples, prunes, apricot, blackcurrant
Herbs parsley, basil, alfalfa***, chamomile, ginger, rosemary & rosehips
Legumes soya beans, mung beans, haricot beans, chick peas
Nuts almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio, pine, chestnuts, cashew, walnut, macadamia, coconut & pecan nuts
Seafood fish, wild salmon, sardines & scallops
Seeds sunflower, sesame, flax & pumpkin seeds
Vegetables kale, broccoli, cabbage, beetroot, carrot, asparagus, wheat grass, garlic, green beans, parsnip, cucumber, tomato, onions, celery, sweet potato, watercress, lettuce , spinach & globe artichoke

** Only about 30% of the calcium in cow’s milk is absorbed, the remainder is excreted.
*** Pregnant mothers are advised against high intake of alfalfa.

A note regarding the Calcium Carbonate form of Calcium

It is important to remember that the commonest form of calcium supplement on the planet is the calcium carbonate form. It can easily be identified, as it will be listed as calcium carbonate in the ingredient list of a supplement.

The Calcium Carbonate form of Calcium is not advisable during pregnancy as it reduces the body’s absorption of Iron. Adequate Iron levels during pregnancy are important to help to prevent Iron deficiency anaemia.

Calcium carbonate contributes as a cause of nausea, constipation and flatulence.

17 CHROMIUM - The GTF Chromium form

There are over a dozen different chemical forms of this mineral, none of which is as found in Nature. The Food State form, as G.T.F. (Glucose Tolerance Factor) Chromium, is as a food complex (as all the Food State nutrients are). It is important, especially during pregnancy, that the form of Chromium chosen is understood and the side effects known.

Some chromium supplements are known to generate harmful free radicals, and are highly undesirable indeed.

Blood Sugar Regulation

GTF Chromium is directly associated with the regulation of blood sugar, decreasing high levels and raising low levels. GTF Chromium is directly involved with enhancing insulin activity. Women who have Type 2 Diabetes are usually found to have lower GTF Chromium levels.

This mineral is essential at optimum levels for proper carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism.


Hypertension – stress, anxiety – is regretfully a common experience during pregnancy; elevated blood sugar and obesity are all factors that can contribute to hypertension. The GTF Chromium has been shown to help regulate elevated blood sugar, reducing hypertension.

GTF Chromium is a beneficial cofactor in the maintenance of normal lipid and carbohydrate metabolism reducing the potential of hypertension. This biologically active form of chromium reduces the less desirable effects of high levels of fats known as triglycerides which are formed when blood sugar is too high.

Diabetes Type 2

Diabetic (Type 2) sufferers have increased almost fourfold since the mid 1980s. Pregnancy is a time when blood sugar metabolism requires more attention, and GTF Chromium specifically increases insulin sensitivity and is associated with normalising blood sugar levels.

GTF Chromium improves the efficient uptake of glucose into cells to increase the production of energy.

Main Food Sources for Natural Chromium are:

Bee Foods organic honey
Cereal grains wheat germ and organic rice
Dairy organic butter, cheese
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fruits red grapes, prunes, blueberries, ripe banana, apples
Herbs: sarsaparilla, liquorice, peppermint & Echinacea
Legumes navy beans
Meats beef, lamb, calf liver, organic chicken & turkey
Seafood fish & oysters
Vegetables capsicum, garlic, parsnip, spinach, potato, green beans, fennel, carrot, asparagus & kelp
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Copper levels in plant foods and fruits have decreased significantly over the past 60 years, which is of concern nutritionally. This mineral is required in proper balance within the body, and using a food state form of copper is for many the preferred form.

There are many forms of chemical copper supplements - twelve or more - sold as ’natural’, which is all legal, but does not help women who are pregnant to know which chemical form is suitable for them. In high doses the chemical forms of copper are known to be a cause of vomiting, anxiety and lethargy. As a note, high dietary copper intake from chemical sources is known to exacerbate pre-menstrual syndrome.

It is estimated that over 50% of pregnant women in the western world are deficient in copper.


This is a more common nutritional deficiency associated with pregnancy. Iron deficiency can often occur due to low copper levels, as this mineral is necessary for the absorption of Iron and the formation of haemoglobin, essential for proper red blood cell function. Cells do not grow properly if copper levels are low, and importantly during pregnancy, antibody production by spleen cells is significantly reduced.


Copper supplements have also been found to lower blood pressure with women who experience hypertension during pregnancy. Optimal copper levels are beneficial to a healthy heart muscle and function. Processed foods are lower in copper values, and this deficiency can contribute to poor blood sugar regulation.


Copper is an important nutrient necessary for the formation of bone tissue. Research has found detrimental alterations in bone metabolism associated with low copper status, including bone tissue loss and osteoporosis. When women were supplemented with copper, there was found to be a beneficial effect on their bone tissue.

This is more commonly referred to as water retention, and it is frequently associated with pregnancy. Copper is required at optimum levels (as with magnesium), and has been shown to help alleviate oedema.

Main Food Sources for Natural Copper are:

Bee Foods bee pollen
Cereal grains buckwheat, oats, barley, wheat germ & wheat bran
Dairy organic butter
Eggs organic eggs
Fruits raisins, olives, apricot kernels, prunes, peaches, ripe banana & apples
Fungi mushrooms
Herbs parsley, burdock, cocoa & Echinacea
Legumes barley, soya beans, lentils and split peas
Meats lamb, beef liver, organic chicken
Nuts almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio, chestnuts, cashew, walnut, macadamia, pine, coconut & pecan nuts
Oils olive & sunflower
Seafood crab, lobster, wild salmon, prawns & oysters
Seeds sunflower seeds
Vegetables garlic, avocado, green beans, radish, broccoli, fennel, carrot & kelp
Yeasts brewer’s yeast
            organic chocolate & molasses

A Note regarding Copper

People with amalgam dental fillings need to be aware that the mercury content can reduce the absorption of copper. Mercury is also a common preservative in cosmetic eye make-up. Vaccines, fluorescent lighting, tobacco smoke and plastics are also sources of mercury, exposure to all of which is highly undesirable during pregnancy. Mackerel, tuna, cod and halibut, which all accumulate mercury, are also best avoided during pregnancy.



Boron has been found in studies to increase blood haemoglobin with some types of anaemia.


Magnesium and calcium, along with other minerals, are important to help combat and alleviate hypertension. Boron is a synergistic mineral that reduces the body’s loss of calcium and magnesium by over 50%, helping to reduce hypertension.

Bone Health

An optimal level of Boron is linked with proper bone formation and bone tissue density. Studies (USDA) have shown that Boron has a positive effect on preventing bone demineralisation, acting to help prevent excretion of calcium from the muscular-skeletal system. During pregnancy, it is important to ensure that adequate Boron is taken within the diet to help maintain healthy bones and teeth.

Boron will also enhance the functions of copper, and importantly for good bone health, it is known that with the proper level of Boron the excretion of magnesium from the body is reduced by 50%. Boron also reduces the loss of phosphorus, of which the majority of the body’s reserve concentrates in the bones.

Boron enhances the function of Silicon within the body. This is important because Silicon, like Boron, concentrates in the bones and in fact improves bone development.

It has also been found that with low Boron levels there is a reduction in levels of enamel on the teeth.

There are over ten different forms of Boron, and choosing the right form to supplement is important, as some Boron supplements at high levels actually contribute to the process of, and can even cause, osteoporosis.

Brain Function

Adequate Boron levels are necessary to help maintain human brain function and cognitive integrity. A low Boron intake has been found associated with impairment of attention span and decreased brain activity, and deterioration of both long and short term memory is associated with low Boron levels.


Boron concentrates in both the thyroid and the parathyroid glands. An under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is associated in some women with low boron levels during pregnancy. The parathyroid glands require adequate boron, as these glands are involved in regulating blood calcium levels.


One factor contributing to the low energy and lethargy some mothers feel during pregnancy is low Boron status. Magnesium is required for the production of energy in every cell. Adequate Boron is required to ensure this function of magnesium takes place.

Main Food Sources for Natural Boron are:

Bee Foods organic honey
Fruits apples, pears, raisins, peaches, strawberry, plums, avocado, dried prunes, dates & grapes
Herbs cinnamon & rosehips
Legumes soya beans
Nuts almonds & hazelnuts
Vegetables garlic, potato, fennel, broccoli, avocado, tomato & kelp
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Many women during the early stages of pregnancy have insufficient Iron in their diet to properly prepare the foundation for Iron supply during pregnancy. Medical practitioners report that most women start pregnancy without sufficient stores of iron to meet their body’s increased needs. It is clear that even more attention should be paid by a mother who is expecting more than one baby.

Special attention and medical advice should be sought if a low Iron status may be associated with inherited sickle cell disease.


There are several forms of Anaemia, and the most common is Iron deficient anaemia. Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid are also significant nutrients that are required in adequate amounts during pregnancy to help prevent anaemia.

The requirement for adequate iron during pregnancy is well known, but not always why. One of the main reasons is that during pregnancy the expectant mother’s requirement for Iron increases by about 50% compared with the normal Iron needs.

Iron is necessary to make sufficient haemoglobin (a special form of protein in the red blood cells) for mother and baby. One function of the haemoglobin is to carry sufficient oxygen to all cells in the body. When insufficient Iron is available for the manufacture of haemoglobin in the bone, anaemia can result: fewer and smaller red blood cells are produced, causing less oxygen to be available for mother and baby.
Fatigue is a common experience for anaemic mothers; dizziness is another indicator that mother could be low in Iron.

Pregnant mothers should not take the calcium carbonate form of calcium during pregnancy. This form of Calcium supplement is not a natural form of calcium as found in foods, and is not recognised by the body as a nutritional food calcium. Calcium carbonate actually inhibits iron absorption within the body, and therefore this form of calcium actually increases the potential for Iron-deficient anaemia.

There is a folklore test for anaemia, said to be a basic guide or indicator as to whether a blood test would be sensible: if a girl has blushing red cheeks then she has sufficient Iron – if her cheeks are pale then she may be Iron-deficient.

This is passed on for the reader’s interest and should not be taken as a substitute for a medical check for Iron status.

A note regarding Menstruation

Women who experience heavy bleeding during their monthly cycle have been found to be Iron deficient. A simple blood test can be performed at the start of pregnancy to check Iron status to reduce the possibility of Iron-deficient anaemia during this time.


Additional Iron is required for proper placenta growth and development.

Fatigue during Pregnancy

Fatigue is one of the most common reasons why women visit their medical practitioner: about 15-20% of visits are associated with fatigue. The figure of 20% is specifically applicable during pregnancy. Fatigue is often used as an ’umbrella’ term that can also refer to lethargy and lack of stamina.

For first-time pregnant mothers, fatigue is a common experience, although it is to be noted that for many women fatigue is experienced during subsequent pregnancies.
Several factors can contribute to fatigue, and one obvious reason is that mother does not get sufficient rest during the day. Other factors that can contribute to fatigue during pregnancy include:

1 Ensuring that a nutritionally sound diet is adopted
2 Ensuring that you consume sufficient water
3 A short gentle walk each day
4 Breathing and relaxation exercises
5 Changing daily routine to accommodate the changing physiological condition
6 High consumption of simple sugars and some sweeteners is associated with fatigue.
7 Low levels of specific minerals such as Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Boron and several other nutriments.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is more prevalent among women who have reduced Iron status.
Women who take high amounts of Iron supplements (in the sulphate form) directly contribute to nausea associated with the experience of morning sickness. The calcium carbonate form of common calcium supplements is also regarded as contributing to the nausea.

The Nervous System

Restless Leg Syndrome (RSL) is a common experience during pregnancy and can often be associated with (amongst other nutrients) low Iron. Twenty percent of women report this annoying syndrome during the latter stages of pregnancy. Folic Acid deficiency, hormone changes and reduced circulation are also considered as contributing factors to RSL. Getting out of bed and having a gentle stretch or walking can help alleviate RSL temporarily. Investigation as to nutrient deficiency is also advised.

Insomnia can be associated with Iron and other nutrient deficiency. It needs to be recognised that the nutrition deficiency factors are only one aspect of a situation that often (especially during pregnancy) results from more than one stress on the nervous system. Some artificial sweeteners are also associated with insomnia and are best avoided altogether.

Anxiety and Depression

Hormonal changes during pregnancy are considered to contribute to various forms of depression and anxiety. It is sensible to get proper health care advice as soon as the experience commences. There are very many factors that can contribute to depression and anxiety during pregnancy, and nutritional ones are a part of a bigger picture.

With regard to nutritional factors, several are covered elsewhere in this text, such as the importance of adequate magnesium and other nutrients.

Adequate Iron intake to provide proper haemoglobin to ensure sufficient oxygen and waste removal from the cell is certainly helpful.

Main Food Sources for Natural Iron are:

Bee Foods bee pollen
Cereal grains oats, millet wheat germ, wheat bran, rice bran
Dairy organic yoghurt
Eggs organic eggs
Fruits raisins, sultanas, strawberry, ripe bananas, peaches, figs, blackberry, prunes, apricots, dates & figs
Herbs basil, rosehips, fenugreek, cocoa, parsley, blessed thistle, chamomile, Echinacea, ginger, feverfew, peppermint & sarsaparilla
Legumes soya beans & lentils
Meats beef, beef liver, organic chicken, organic turkey & kidneys
Nuts almonds, pecan, hazelnut, walnut, & cashew
Seafood sardines, haddock, herring, mussels, clams, cod & oysters
Seeds pumpkin, sunflower, sesame & cumin seeds
Vegetables beetroot, corn, lettuce, leeks, radish, green peas, tomatoes, watercress, asparagus, avocado & Brussels sprouts
Yeasts brewer’s yeast



Magnesium is a mineral required by every cell in the body for energy production. It is especially so for an expectant mother, when adequate intake is of particular importance. It is worth noting that with proper magnesium intake cholesterol levels can be in balance. It has been found that with low intake the undesirable forms of cholesterol are elevated and the desirable forms lower. Significantly, therefore, adequate magnesium plays a part in keeping cholesterol in a healthier balance.

Magnesium is required in more than 300 enzymatic systems within the body.

The Nervous System

Adequate magnesium levels are even more necessary during pregnancy for the proper function and balance of the central nervous system, both for mother and baby.

Nervous irritability, headaches, migraine, poor memory and insomnia are associated with low magnesium levels. Magnesium supplementation prior to retiring has been shown to improve the quality of sleep.

Magnesium has not only been shown to be necessary for proper nerve function, but clinical research has stated that part of this mineral’s function is as an antidepressant.

Muscle Cramps

It is believed by some researchers that a magnesium deficiency may very well be a significant contributing factor among women who experience muscle cramps during pregnancy. Pregnant women with adequate magnesium suffered much less distress from muscle cramps.

The research demonstrated that following just seven days of magnesium supplementation, the cramps were substantially reduced among those pregnant women who did experience cramps (known to be especially troublesome at night).

In another study it was found that following a modest intake of magnesium, there was an 80% reduction in muscle cramps among women who experienced it while swimming.

It was found in research that lack of calcium was not as significant as magnesium with regard to muscle cramps.

Muscle weakness can also be a symptom of magnesium deficiency, as one of the sites that this mineral concentrates in is the muscles: probably one quarter of the magnesium content of the body is found in the muscles. This mineral is necessary for the proper function of oxygen supply to the muscles, where it is also responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle movement.


With low magnesium levels, taking fluoride tablets during pregnancy has been shown to increase the potential of fluoride toxicity, which can be damaging to baby.

Saturated Fatty Acids

Saturated fatty acids are required by the body to produce energy and they make up a part of the cell membrane. However, if the intake is too high these fats become detrimental to good nutrition. Especially for women who are pregnant, keeping this type of fats in moderation is most important, as they can increase the incidence of morning sickness and inhibit the absorption of magnesium.

Stress Management

Magnesium is associated with proper nerve balance and other functions. Pregnancy can be a time of additional stress, and it is during this time that adequate magnesium becomes more important.

Research has found that with proper levels of magnesium there is a reduction in stress. Pregnant women with good levels of magnesium reported that they could cope better with daily life.

Stress can be exacerbated by toxic heavy metals that are drawn into the body by many different environmental pollutants: traffic fumes, aluminium cooking containers, teeth fillings and detergents to name but a few sources. Proper magnesium levels have been found to be important in helping to counteract these undesirable pollutants.

The Heart

Availability of adequate magnesium for proper heart function is necessary: research has shown that inadequate levels can correlate with a number of chronic cardiovascular problems that include hypertension.


There exists a strong positive correlation between energy and magnesium intake. Magnesium’s role in energy production is as an important cofactor for almost all of the enzymes involved in the production of the energy molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Magnesium is therefore necessary for proper energy production within the heart. Women with adequate magnesium intake have a lower incidence of heart problems – as do men.

Magnesium is required for the conversion of glucose into energy, and with adequate magnesium there is a reduction in fatigue and lethargy.


Magnesium is fundamental to good bone health. In fact, sixty-four percent of the magnesium in the body is concentrated in the bones. Adequate intake of magnesium has been found to retard the rate of bone turnover and therefore bone density loss. During pregnancy, when there is a greater need for magnesium, it is important to ensure that the intake of this bone-building mineral is at optimum levels, both for mother and for baby.

A Note about Magnesium Supplements

Some forms of magnesium can actually reduce levels within the body of calcium, manganese and phosphorus – all bone-building minerals!

There are over 25 different chemical forms of magnesium and each has different actions (good and not so good) within the body. It is important either to know what each does, or use the Food State magnesium that is in a form as found in food, and is beneficial, as the body recognises this mineral in a food structure as opposed to a chemical which it does not recognise

Main Food Sources for Natural Magnesium are:

Cereal grains buckwheat, wheat germ, buckwheat, oatmeal, rye & brown rice
Fruits figs, lemons, dates, grapes, avocado, ripe banana, bilberry, apples, apricot (dried), blackcurrant
Herbs basil, alfalfa***, chamomile, ginger, sarsaparilla, aloe vera, peppermint & tea (without milk)
Legumes soya beans, barley & dried peas
Nuts almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio, chestnuts, cashew, walnut, macadamia, coconut & pecan nuts
Seafood shrimp, prawns, sardines, sole & oysters
Seeds sunflower & sesame seeds
Vegetables broccoli, tomato, cauliflower, carrot, fennel, capsicum, garlic, parsnip, celery, lettuce, spinach, corn

*** Pregnant mothers are advised against high intake of alfalfa.


Manganese has been referred to as the ’mothering nutrient’. In part, this is why it is incorporated into the Food State Pregnancy formula. Mothers with low manganese during pregnancy were found to be less likely to nurture their young. Mothers with optimum manganese levels showed much more interest in mothering and their baby’s welfare.


Manganese is a synergistic mineral necessary for the absorption of Iron. Iron is essential for the formation of haemoglobin to transport oxygen and also remove carbon dioxide.

Blood Sugar

There is a higher demand during pregnancy for manganese, as this is a very important mineral in the process of stabilising blood sugar levels. Manganese is an essential mineral that activates enzymes that process glucose efficiently.

Pregnant diabetic mothers were found to have approximately half the levels of manganese as compared with non-diabetic mothers.


Manganese is important in the process of activating the antioxidant enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is one of the more abundant antioxidant enzymes in the body. This enzyme reduces the harmful potential of super-oxide free radicals. These harmful free radicals are implicated in hypertension. They also damage the skin’s collagen content, which can contribute to premature aging of the skin.

Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Manganese is important to the growth and repair of bones. It is necessary for the proper production of collagen in bones, and has a beneficial effect in reducing bone mineral loss and increasing joint mobility, especially during pregnancy. Optimum manganese levels are also important during pregnancy to ensure there is no impairment of skeletal development for baby.

Manganese plays an important role in muscular function, and with adequate manganese muscle reflexes are improved.

Manganese is important, as we have said, for proper bone health, and women who suffer with osteoporosis have been found to have only approximately 25% of the manganese level of women with good bone health.

Manganese stimulates special bone cells called osteoblasts that are responsible for the growth of bones and the repair of fractures.

Manganese also helps balance cells known as osteoclasts to maintain their function of removing old bone and facilitating the osteoblasts to provide new bone.

As a note, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have found that with optimum manganese levels there is a reduction of inflammation in the joints.

Anxiety and Depression

Optimum manganese levels have been shown to help alleviate anxiety and mild depression during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a particular time to be aware of the potential accumulation of toxic heavy metals. Heavy metals at elevated levels are directly associated with anxiety and depression as well as nausea. Pregnancy is an important time to be aware of exposure to these toxic heavy metals. Manganese is valuable in the process of their removal and excretion.


During pregnancy, maintaining a proper balance of the different forms of cholesterol is important, as elevated cholesterol is implicated in hypertension and several other conditions. There are good and bad components that make up total cholesterol. Optimum levels of Manganese have been found to decrease high cholesterol levels. A manganese deficiency has been shown to reduce HDL (High Density Lipids), a good form of cholesterol.

Manganese at optimum levels helps reduce dysmenorrhoea (menstrual distress).

Main Food Sources for Natural Manganese are:

Bee Foods bee pollen
Cereal grains oats, oatmeal, barley, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, wheat
Dairy organic butter & gorgonzola cheese
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fruits peaches, tangerines, ripe bananas, pears, apples, cantaloupe melon, bilberry, blueberry & pineapple
Herbs basil, hops, rosehips, carob, tea, parsley, blessed thistle, chamomile, Echinacea, feverfew, peppermint & sarsaparilla
Legumes green peas & split peas
Meats red meats & liver
Nuts pecan, walnut, coconut
Vegetables spinach, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, beetroot, corn, tomatoes, fennel, celery, garlic & Brussels sprouts
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Molybdenum has antioxidant properties that help reduce harmful free radicals, and is needed for normal growth and health. While it is accepted that a deficiency of molybdenum is not common, reserves are not always in the right place at the right time. The body’s need for extra Iron during pregnancy is well known. Molybdenum helps enhance Iron’s absorption and function within the body. It also helps produce special enzymes to enable the proper metabolism of fats in the diet.

Molybdenum is an important mineral involved in the production of enzymes. It is essential for enzymes that produce uric acid, which has powerful antioxidant properties in deactivating and removing several groups of harmful free radicals. It is known to enhance mental function.

Bone Health

Molybdenum has been found to help reduce back-ache which can arise during pregnancy, and also the pain associated with osteo-arthritis. An optimum intake of molybdenum has been found to lower the incidence of tooth decay.

A Note on Asthma

Molybdenum helps to detoxify sulphites. Used as food additives, they are preservatives often used with for example instant potato meals and many dried fruits. Research has shown that sulphites can aggravate asthma. People sensitive or allergic to sulphites have been found to have a molybdenum deficiency.

Heavy Metals

It is advisable to avoid foods that may contain lead during pregnancy, as this toxic heavy metal reduces the effectiveness of molybdenum. It is worth noting that cosmetics, hair colourings, and even some brands of toothpaste can contain lead. A high intake of dairy foods can increase the body’s absorption of lead, and fluoride toothpaste has been found to contribute to a process of retaining lead within the body.

Lead causes depletion of the important antioxidant Vitamin C, and reduces the body’s absorption of Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese and Zinc. It may be worth while looking at the products around you that may contain lead.

Main Food Sources for Natural Molybdenum are:

Cereal grains oats, brown rice & wheat germ
Dairy cottage cheese
Eggs organic egg
Fruits raisins
Legumes green peas, split peas & lentils
Meats beef liver, beef, beef kidney, lamb, kidneys, organic chicken
Molasses (unsulphured)
Vegetables: spinach, potato, cauliflower, onions, green beans, kale
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


There is a higher need for Selenium during pregnancy.

Selenium is a mineral in very short supply within the food chain, as soil levels have been significantly depleted in western countries over the last sixty years. Though there is much debate amongst experts. However, the consensus is that between six and eight people out of ten are selenium-deficient.

Selenium functions as a mineral in its own right and also in its role as an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase. In this section we outline the actions of both selenium and glutathione.


Published research has identified the importance of selenium during pregnancy, especially early pregnancy: it was found to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Women with the lowest selenium levels experienced the highest rate of miscarriage. Researchers stated that early miscarriage seemed to be linked with reduced antioxidant protection, and that it is Selenium’s essential role in the production of the glutathione peroxidase enzyme that is responsible in reducing risk of miscarriage.

Selenium is closely involved with the function of a special enzyme known as Co-enzyme Q10, which functions as a powerful antioxidant, improving the immune system. It was found that incidence of miscarriage corresponded with low Co-enzyme Q10 levels.


The experience of hypertension during pregnancy has been linked in part with low Selenium levels. There is a significant correlation between low Selenium levels and hypertension, and optimum Selenium levels and normal blood pressure. Pregnant mothers with the lowest levels of Selenium had the highest levels of hypertension.
Selenium’s role with Co-enzyme Q10 has also been shown to play an important part in the reduction of high blood pressure.


About 5% of pregnant women with pre-existing hypertension experience preeclampsia, and researchers found that women with low levels of Selenium are four times more likely to experience it.


Selenium deficiencies are associated with impaired thyroid function, and have been found to contribute to hypothyroidism.

Optimum levels of Selenium during pregnancy have been found to reduce postpartum depression, as a result of Selenium’s role in thyroid activity. Research has shown that pregnant women with a low Selenium status are more susceptible to depressive moods. Higher dietary Selenium was found to improve mood, and mothers reported feeling more settled.

Toxic Heavy Metals

Toxic heavy metals deplete the body’s supply of Selenium. During pregnancy, mothers who have several fillings in their teeth have an increased need of Selenium to help detoxify the undesirable presence of mercury.


Pregnant women with low levels of Selenium have been found to experience anaemia more than pregnant women with optimum levels of Selenium. Selenium is necessary for proper respiration and heart function, and it has been found that there is increased risk of coronary problems with low Selenium levels.

Blood Sugar

Selenium acts as a type of insulin, and is involved with the proper transport of glucose for conversion into energy.

Note: Inflammation and Arthritis

Selenium has been found to be beneficial in helping to reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and sufferers are found to have significantly lower levels of Selenium.

Main Food Sources for Natural Selenium are:

Cereal grains oat bran, wheat germ, wheat bran, rice bran, rye, pearl barley, wholegrain bread, brown rice
Dairy organic butter, cow’s milk
Eggs organic eggs
Fungi Shiitake mushrooms (dried)
Herbs Echinacea, sarsaparilla, feverfew, burdock & bilberry
Legumes kidney beans
Meats beef liver, beef, lamb, organic chicken, organic turkey & beef kidneys
Nuts almonds, pecan, hazelnut, walnut, pistachio, cashew, macadamia, & Brazils (only if the short storage time can be validated)
Seafood tuna, crab, herring, oysters, lobster, mussels, cod & prawns
Seeds sunflower & mustard seeds
Vegetables celery, asparagus, onions, potato, garlic, carrot, cabbage, turnip & radish
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Zinc is involved with the production and function of over 200 enzymes within the body. These range from those that detoxify, help bone tissue density, metabolise fats, protect RNA (ribonucleic acid, recognized as a key in cellular regulation), and help removal of carbon dioxide from blood cells. Optimum Zinc is also known to increase muscle strength.

It is estimated that approximately 80% of pregnant women have an inadequate supply of Zinc. White specks on nails, or nails that split easily, can be an indication of Zinc deficiency.

Optimum Zinc levels during pregnancy are necessary as the biological functions and health benefits have increased importance at this time. Zinc is an essential mineral for the immune system of both mother and baby in the production and repair of cells. This is important in view of the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.

Low birth weight and retarded growth have also been linked with Zinc deficiency, and Zinc levels during pregnancy are associated with differences in risk of childhood asthma and other inflammatory processes. Dyslexia in children has been linked with low Zinc levels during pregnancy. 

Bone Health

Zinc is directly implicated in the formation of new bone tissue, and optimum levels are involved with reduction of bone loss as well as associated with reduction in tooth decay.

Proper Zinc levels are necessary both for the pregnant mother’s bone integrity and the baby’s bone formation.

Interestingly, research found that persons suffering from osteoporosis had low Zinc levels.


Adequate Zinc is necessary for proper thyroid function in helping to reduce the incidence of hypothyroidism. It is required for the proper regulation of calcitonin from the thyroid gland. Calcitonin directly influences calcium levels in the bone, slowing down loss of bone calcium. As a note, proper levels of calcitonin are required to help prevent osteoporosis.


Zinc helps increase the production of a hormone known to alleviate some forms of anaemia. Research on Zinc and the incidence of sickle cell anaemia found that with optimum Zinc levels there was a reduction in severity. 

Blood Sugar

Zinc is necessary for the production of insulin: it is known to improve and regulate insulin levels. It is therefore important for diabetic mothers (Types ! and 2) to ensure adequate levels of intake.


Lack of energy, lethargy and reduced stamina are associated with Zinc deficiency: the greater the deficiency, the less energy.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has been found to be directly associated with Zinc deficiency, and it has been calculated that over 30% of CFS sufferers compared with non-CFS sufferers are severely Zinc-deficient.


Pregnant women who experience mild depression and anxiety have been shown to have low Zinc levels. Low Zinc has been associated with irritability: it lowers the body’s ability to cope with stress.  Zinc has been found to have a beneficial ’anti-depressant’ effect.

Main Food Sources for Natural Zinc are:

Cereal grains oats, rye, wheat & buckwheat
Dairy organic butter, cow’s milk
Eggs organic egg yolk
Fruit ripe bananas & bilberry
Herbs burdock, chamomile, Echinacea, sarsaparilla, suma, ginger, dandelion, feverfew, equisetum, peppermint & parsley
Legumes butter beans, green peas, black beans & lentils
Meats beef liver, beef, lamb, organic chicken
Nuts almonds, pecan, hazelnut, walnut, pistachio, cashew, macadamia, chestnut, pine nut, walnut, coconut & Brazils (only if the short storage time can be validated)
Oils olive oil
Seafood anchovies, oysters, sardines, haddock, tuna & prawns
Seeds sunflower & pumpkin seeds
Vegetables fennel, turnip, carrot, cabbage, potato, garlic, cauliflower, spinach, cucumber & kelp
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Main Food Sources for Natural Bioflavonoid are:

Cereal grains oat bran, wheat germ, wheat bran, rice bran, rye, pearl barley, wholegrain bread, brown rice
Dairy organic butter, cow’s milk
Eggs organic eggs
Fungi Shiitake mushrooms (dried)
Herbs Echinacea, sarsaparilla, feverfew, burdock & bilberry
Legumes kidney beans
Meats beef liver, beef, lamb, organic chicken, organic turkey & beef kidneys
Nuts almonds, pecan, hazelnut, walnut, pistachio, cashew, macadamia & Brazils (only if the short storage time can be validated)
Seafood tuna, crab, herring, oysters, lobster, mussels, cod & prawns
Seeds sunflower & mustard seeds
Vegetables celery, asparagus, onions, potato, garlic, carrot, cabbage, turnip & radish
Yeasts brewer’s yeast


Around 50% of pregnant women experience vomiting at some time during their pregnancy, usually starting before the 6th week and ending around the 12th week. It is thought in part to be due to the rise in hormones, which stimulates the vomiting centre in the brain stem.

Women who prepare for their pregnancy several months before conception have been found to suffer less frequently. Such preparations include a carefully planned diet to suit their individual needs in addition to sensible exercise and lifestyle changes to ensure optimum health and fitness before, during and after pregnancy.
There are several possible remedies that can alleviate the nausea and vomiting and make pregnancy a far more enjoyable time.

How can it be prevented?

Prevention in this situation, as with so many others, is by far the best course of action. Good preparation before pregnancy ensures the mother’s body is in balance and ready to cope with a growing child. Drinking plenty of water every day (at least 3 pints are recommended) ensures the body is able to meet its potential with regard to hydration. Every process in the body requires water, and pregnancy adds an extra demand, therefore it is essential that all the fluid lost each day in urine, breath and sweat is at least replaced if not exceeded.

A good diet for Mums and Dads to be is one high in fresh foods, avoiding as many processed and ’artificial’ products as possible. Eating plenty of appropriate fruit and vegetables every day ensures a good supply of antioxidant nutrients to fight off potential illness, fibre to cleanse the body and essential vitamins and minerals for growth of the foetus and maintenance of the mother. Ideally some or all of these fruits and vegetables should be organic to lower the toxic load on the body caused by environmental chemicals such as pesticides.

A reduction of chemical additives will help to alleviate morning sickness, one leading conception and pregnancy advice group found that mothers on a food reform programme experience far less morning distress. Some researchers suggest that the nausea and sickness occur as a result of lowered blood sugar, as it often occurs first thing in the morning when the stomach is empty and energy levels need replenishing. Therefore the concentration on a good diet, which consequently ensures a more even supply of appropriate nutritional sugar to the blood, helps to prevent morning sickness occurring.

How can it be alleviated?

In the early stages of pregnancy there are several healthy options that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms, without resorting to anti-emetic drugs which, as thalidomide showed us, are very undesirable during early pregnancy.

Ginger is the most frequently recommended herb for alleviating stomach upsets. It has been seen to be effective in relieving morning sickness. Chewing a small piece of the root or adding ginger cordial to water can help nauseous feelings to subside.

Peppermint and spearmint teas are all very effective anti-emetics. They can be used to calm the stomach in the morning, and be drunk throughout the day too. This will not only serve to normalise the stomach’s activity. A reduction of caffeine intake helps to reduce this experience of nausea.
Mothers have reported that consulting a qualified homeopath during pregnancy
has been helpful. Specifically for morning sickness they may dispense remedies that may be more suited to your particular personality and disposition.

As mentioned above, morning sickness is thought to be at least partly due to the fall in blood sugar. Therefore it may help to get up and have breakfast early, and / or have supper before going to bed. In either case something fairly plain would be most appropriate, especially at night so that it does not lie too heavily in the stomach.


Morning sickness is a ’normal’ experience during pregnancy for many women. Prevention is best and a good diet before conception is as important for a healthy mother and baby as the food eaten during pregnancy


The list of foods Acid or Alkali-forming foods below is offered as a brief guide and is by no means comprehensive, but does cover the more common foods.

Acid and alkaline values are measured as pH values. A neutral value is seven - any number below this is classed as acid. Above seven, foods are classed as alkaline. The body is ideally balanced when pH is 7.35 to 7.45, which is slightly alkaline.

The balance of acid and alkaline foods is important during pregnancy for the maintenance of good health of mother and baby. The following offers a very short introduction to acid and alkaline categories of foods. Just removing acid foods does not provide more than a basic approach to reducing the incidence of acid reflux during pregnancy. Consuming positive foods from differing food groups is essential to remove waste toxic materials associated with reflux and other associated digestive distress during pregnancy

The body ideally needs to be slightly alkaline to perform effectively, so foods should be selected accordingly. However, it is important to understand that the important criterion is the effect of acid or alkaline foods within the body. In practice this means that foods should not be chosen by a simple classification of whether they are acid or alkaline, but rather as to whether they are acid or alkali-forming after digestion.

For example, with a pH value of 1.9, limes are classified as having a high acid value. However, within the body they are alkaline-forming, and this is the relevant criterion.

Acid-forming foods

This food section includes animal protein foods, eggs, fish, fowl, sugars and sweeteners, most nuts and grains, flour products, raw tomatoes, honey, most dairy products, and fats.

Alkaline-forming foods

This food section includes most vegetables, potatoes, buckwheat, millet, most fruits, and sea vegetables.

It should be noted that the eastern system of classifying foods also includes the concept of yin and yang, which states that these two energy forces are both antagonistic and complementary. The yin and yang approach can classify an acid forming food as either acid or alkali and vice versa. So to avoid confusion the acid and alkali food classifications given above are sufficient as a guide.

The following table outlines food that are acid and those, which are alkaline. It provides an at a glance guide to a wider range of acid - and alkaline-forming foods that can be useful in selecting foods during and after pregnancy.

Beneficial Foods

Alkali-forming foods are in blue Acid-forming foods are in red



& Grains



inc. Sugar & Honey


inc. Sprouts & Nuts

Dairy Foods


inc. Poultry


Flour Products




















Bananas Ripe








Berries (most)






















Cabbage(Red & White)
































































































































































































Swiss Chard
























Wild rice








Rice & most grains




Almost All

ALL inc. Eggs

ALL inc. Poultry

ALL inc. Sea-foods

ALL inc. Breads,
Cakes & Cereals













Cottage Cheese




















Pasta (all)
























Sweet Potato


All Sugars







Acid reflux and other digestive distress often experienced during pregnancy can be reduced if the process of digestion and the assimilation of foods are taken note of.
The digestive system comprises the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, together with all of its associated organs and glands. It is the means by which ingested foodstuffs are broken down in the alimentary canal into a form that can be absorbed and assimilated by the tissues.

Beneficial bacteria should comprise 90% of the digestive tract. These friendly bacteria enhance the function of the immune system and help counteract antigens. Maintaining an optimum level of these bacteria strengthens the function of the intestines. Many pharmaceutical anti-biotic drugs can reduce the amount of beneficial bacteria.

The ideal for perfect digestion would be:

1 drink first
2 then eat live, fresh vegetation followed by any cooked vegetation
3 then eat any protein, on its own
4 then eat any starch, on its own
5 then neither eat nor drink anything more for several hours